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June 22, 2014

Hornsea

Well it was going to be a trip to the LV83, but long northerly winds put paid to that and the trip was cancelled on the 17th…

So on the 18th we were scratting around trying to get people re-motivated to still go diving when Adrian from Bingham Branch suggested going from Hornsea and diving HMS Falmouth. They would take their boat and 2 divers. Yep I am in, just need to find more divers.

Antony and Charlie Cotton soon say yes as a sea dive has got to be better than going to Chepstow for the day. No one else is interested or able to go, so us three join Adrian Collier and Andy Jarvis from Bingham branch and decide to go out for the day.

Tides checked, slack confirmed, position confirmed yep see you at Hornsea around 9:30am.

So I go back to the club house and collect my cylinders and re pack the rest of my kit for a rib rather than a hard boat, prepare sandwiches for lunch and the usual bits and pieces. Quick panic as could not find lifejacket and then remembered Ellie had it, text Ellie seeing if I can get it back in time, not holding out much hope and off to bed.

Next morning around 6:00am there is a site to behold, the lovely Ellie is there with my lifejacket; just to make it clear it is the vision of beauty that is Ellie I am talking about, and not my lifejacket!
Thanks darling.

So kit all packed off I set for Hornsea on the East coast of Yorkshire, should take about 2 hours, but I forgot about the tiny town of Beverley which had huge traffic issues which added 15 minutes to the journey, but I am still first to arrive. Charlie and Antony next, then the rib with Andy and Adrian arrive just after 9:30am. Introductions are made to Charlie, who has not met them before and we start to prep the boat, load the kit and register it for launching.

Pay the £20 launch fee and we are ready to go. Quick check that we all agree on where we are going and state of slack, yes that’s what I got I say.

Now there was a bit of surf at the launch point, so 3 of us held the boat and pulled it off the trailer, whilst Adrian stayed nice and dry at the helm, poor old Andy stayed with the trailer and then swam out to the boat – I swear that Adrian was only moving further from shore for safety, and not to make Andy swim further!
All on board, GPS set, let’s go.

Adrian drives us out in what was quite a deceiving sea, the sun being right in your eyes flattened the rollers out so they came as a surprise when they arrived at the boat, which did cause some chuckles, seeing as there were 3 dive coxn’s and 1 having his cox’n assessment done on board.

Then, the moment the boat lost all electrical power raised a few eyebrows, till it was noticed that the master isolator switch had been knocked which quickly fixed the issue.

Back on track we arrived on site, after about 51/2 mile journey, around 11:00 ish. Spot lots of buoys marking lobster pots and quite quickly locate the wreckage and drop a shot in.

First in are us, the visitors, Charlie with his 18ltr cylinder, Antony with his twin 12’s and little old me with my twin 10’s. Nice easy kit up and backward roll entry into a murky sea, grab hold of the shot line, quick signal and the other 2 set off down the line. I have been suffering with some anxiety issues recently and have already warned Antony, but I make it down after some extra heavy breathing and as soon as I arrive at the wreck am as calm as ever, very strange feeling for someone who has been diving in every condition known to man for nearly 20 years I can tell you.

However back to the dive in hand, visibility was diabolical, 1mtr at best and we were diving as a 3 this is going to be tricky! We are right on the wreck though and using our brightest torches, best lobster hooks and goodie bags we set off to see what could be seen.

Well a few edible crabs where spotted, but we left them alone as too small, gas cylinders that were either lying down and were corroded flat, but in one case was stood nearly vertical on the wreck, lots of flat plates to look under for lobsters, loads and loads or cordite which was found in one specific whole, Quite safe even when dry as long as not in a small enclosed space! Decent sized lobster, which has since been made into sandwiches, but in all it was one of those dives where you felt more than you could see. However all 3 of us stayed together and after 40 mins I launched the DSMB (why is it always me?) and we reach the surface almost smack on 45 mins which was our allotted time.

Quick recovery into the boat and then we drop Andy and Adrian in, everyone eats my sandwiches, before eating their own, but fair enough they do offer me soup, but it was a lovey hot day and the last thing I wanted was soup!

The other 2 pop up, also bang on 45 minutes and we recover them with no drama at all. Ant then has a run with the boat and we recover the shot, this then completes Antony’s cox’n assessment and he has passed!!!

Andy takes us back home to the beach, here we look at the big horrible breakers landing at the recovery site an plan how to recover the boat. No drama, just timing and then get the boat dragged onto the trailer by the tractor. Wash the boat and kit using the sites facilities and then off onto ton proper for fish and chips.

Richard Croft